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Updated Report on the Decisions of the Committee on Admissibility: Summary and Comments

Updated Report on the Decisions of the Committee on Admissibility: Summary and Comments

The report on admissibility under CRC OP3 has been updated until April 2022. In addition, to the previous report, it includes the admissibility decisions of the CRC Committee made at its 85th – 89th sessions. Specific attention is given to admissibility and extra-territorial jurisdiction.

The first question the Committee on the Rights of the Child has to answer when it receives communications submitted under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on a communications procedure (CRC-OP3) is: is the communication admissible? Experiences show that the majority of the cases dealt with by the Committee so far is inadmissible. This means that a lot of time and energy invested in the submission of the communication did not produce the intended result: a decision of the Committee on the complaint that one or more rights in the CRC were violated. This report presents an updated version of the annotated overview of the decisions of the Committee in which it declared the communication inadmissible. It also provides a number of overarching comments and reflections, in order to inform individuals or (legal) professionals who consider submitting a communication to the Committee, about the different admissibility criteria of CRC-OP3 and the way the Committee applies and interpreters these criteria.

The report indicates that many cases are declared inadmissible because they are ill-founded or not sufficiently substantiated. In some cases the communication is partly declared inadmissible inter alia because it claims that many articles of the CRC have been violated without any facts to substantiate all or part of these claims. This gives reason for future authors of submissions to make sure that their claim that a right of the CRC was violated is based on the correct legal provisions and that sufficient facts are presented to substantiate the claim. In some cases, adults, usually one of the parents, claim a violation of their rights under the CRC. These claims are inadmissible because they are considered incompatible with the provisions of the CRC, which protect the rights of children and not the rights of adults. Some issues are given separate attention such as the request of States Parties to deal with the admissibility separately from the merits, the intervention of third parties and the working methods of the Committee.

This report has been updated until April 2022. In addition, to the previous report, it includes the admissibility decisions of the CRC Committee made at its 85th – 89th sessions. Specific attention is given to admissibility and extra-territorial jurisdiction.

The first report was based on research until April 2020. See J.E. Doek, Communications with the Committee on the Rights of the Child under Optional Protocol to the CRC on a Communications Procedure and Admissibility. Report on the Decisions of the Committee on Admissibility: Summary and Comments, Leiden Children’s Rights Observatory Papers No. 1, 22 October 2020.